Re: Review of CeCILL-C? (This is not â?oplainâ?? CeCILL.)
"Cyril Brulebois" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
[🔎] 20080119174607.GB4403@evy.ikibiki.org">news:[🔎] 20080119174607.GB4403@evy.ikibiki.org...
it looks like one can't help writing new licenses, so in addition to
CeCILL, CeCILL-B (said to be BSD-like) and CeCILL-C (said to be
adapted to software components) have been published. Note that French
versions are available as well (s/en/fr/ in URL), as well as text-only
versions (s/html/txt/ in URL).
I'd be glad if those licenses (in particular CeCILL-C) could be
Thanks in advance.
The following is a review of the CeCILL-C licence. Further, it is only an
analysis of the English text.
Disclamers: IANAL, IANADD.
Article 3 makes it clear that the license is accepted by using the
software.Further the licence explicitly covers use of the software. I rather
prefer it when licenses do not do this, but this is not a freeness problem
Section 5.1 is basically an unlimited right of use. It expliclty allows the
use for any purpose (DFSG #6), and also explicitly allows reverse
Section 5.2 allows modification of any type including the creation of a
derivitive work. The only condition is such modification must included a
notice indicating the author of the modification, and the date of said
modification. The GPL has an equilvent term, so this is no problem.
Section 5.3.1 (distribution of unmodified copies) is contains terms less
restrictive than the GPL v2, so that section is fine.
Section 5.3.2 (distribution of modified copies) is identical to the
previous section, except that the source code must be the full sorce code
for the modified version. This section is obviously fine.
Section 5.3.3 (distribution of derivitive software). This section is
interesting. Let us look at the relevent definitions here.
Derivative Software: means any combination of the Software,
modified or not, and of a Related Module.
Related Module: means a set of sources files including their documentation
without modification to the Source Code, enables supplementary functions or
in addition to those offered by the Software.
An unusual defintion of derivitive software by my definition.
It is also not entirely clear what a related module actually is.
A plugin would certainly be a related module under this definition,
but exactly what else is covered is not entirely clear to me.
Anyway, this section allows derivitive works to be licensed under a
as long as section 6.4 holds. Further if said derivitive work required
modification of the
software, the modified version of the software must be licenced under the
the changes to the software must be clearly identified (the GPL has a
and the same source code availability requirements as in the other two
sections still hold.
This section seems to indicate GPL-incompatibility, as it shows a copyleft
requirement that would prevent the GPL
from being allowed to cover the work as a whole.
Section 5.4 disables a single clause in section 6.4 if a contribution under
the CeCILL license is integrated, or
is included as a Related Module in a Derivitive Software.
Section 6.4 is the next relevet section. The first two clauses are basically
a notice preservation requirement.
The requirement is a little stronger than most are, requiring exact
preservation of the notices, modifications
of any sort or not allowed. The third clause is the one that section 5.4 can
The text is:
That clause is similar to one in the GPL v2, but is just slightly more
I'm not sure it is a free-ness problem, but it might be. At the very least,
it can be a pain.
to ensure that use of the Software, its intellectual property notices
and the fact that it is governed by the Agreement is indicated in a
text that is easily accessible, specifically from the interface of any
Section 8 is quite unusual, as it explicitly mentions that the licensee may
claim compensation from the licensor
for direct damages should the licensor fail to meet its requirements. Of
course, this would not apply in the event that the licnesor fails
to meet its requirements because the licensee failed to meet its own
requirements. Certainly not a freeness issue, but just a little odd
to see in a free software license.
Section 11 adds an exception to liability in the event that the failure to
meet the terms of the agreement are directly atributable to major events
outside the parties control including acts of god, telephone or
communications network problems, network problems due to a virus,
intervention by the government, strikes, etc.
The rest of section 11 is very standard.
Section 13 contains some possibly problematic terms:
It has a choice of law provision, specifically French Law. That is not a
However it has a choice of venue clause, indicating the Paris Courts with
the proper jurisdiction. This is the same provision as in the original
CeCILL license. This might be a freeness problem.
Section 6.4's third clause may be a freeness issue.
Section 13 may be a freeness issue.
The license does not seem to be GPL compatible, although it
is very clear that the GPL v2 was studied in the preperation of this